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Environmental Processes


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the Minor Biodiversity.

Contact information

Course coordinator: Dhr. Dr. Maarten Schrama Email:


The course Environmental Processes has the following content:
This four-week module has a very strong theoretical and a smaller practical part. The theoretical part focuses on chains of cause and effect in a (semi) natural environment. The course is structured around the four key environmental realms (i) atmospheric processes, (ii) terrestrial processes (iii) freshwater processes and (iv) marine processes. Within these themes the focus will be on the interacting processes and mechanisms underlying the core functions of these ecosystems, and how human interactions with these processes result in an collection of environmental problems. The course discusses on a relative broad spectrum of problems including climate change, acidification, eutrophication, desiccation, pollution and ecotoxicology, exotic species, disturbance and fragmentation and their respective impacts on biodiversity. The practical part consists of a GIS- assignment, which will be carried out in small groups and is integrated with the data collection during the field week in the first module.

Learning goals

After this course the students:

  • Can explain biodiversity theory, evolution, environmental patterns, scales in biodiversity and human/biodiversity relationships;

  • Have knowledge and understand about how evolutionary and environmental processes determine biodiversity both on a short (decades) and long term (millions of years) time frame and on local to global spatial scale

  • Are able to apply important biodiversity concepts and tools for solving scientific and societal problems

  • Are able to write a problem-oriented report in which different scenarios and actions are formulated and evaluated to solve a pressing biodiversity issue


From 11 October 2021 – 12 November 2021. A detailed schedule will be provided on Brightspace before the start of the course.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, practicals, (GIS) and discussions

Assessment method

The assignment will account for 35% of the final mark and should be finished with at least a 5.6. The exam grade will make up 65% of the final mark and should be finished with at least a 6.0.


Brightspace will be used for communication and exchange of documents

Reading list

  • For each part of the we’ve developed a syllabus.

  • For some topics extra reading material will be provided (scientific articles, newspaper articles etc).


Via uSis

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.